Christmas is exactly one week away, but I don’t feel very festive right now and I didn’t feel festive at all until today.
It’s weird. I can definitely think of a few reason why I might feel the way I do, though, including, but not limited to:
School. I got home super late on Thursday night and although it is almost Sunday as I write this, I’m still in that school mindset. Maybe it’s because I had to complete an entire take-home final yesterday that I’d meant to finish earlier and turned it in three minutes before it was due. (Tip: Don’t do this.) Maybe it’s because my approach to this semester was to just go go go and work as hard as possible. To make a long story short, I’m not 100% sure why I’m still so focused on school: All I know is that it’s been on my mind a lot and I can’t seem to move on.
The election. LMAO THIS ELECTION OVERSHADOWED EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTER NOVEMBER EIGHTH. It was really hard for me to concentrate on my schoolwork afterward (see, there I go thinking about school again) and more than a month later it continues to worry me. It did a number on my mental health and so it’s as if I haven’t quite noticed the past few weeks slipping away. We’ve finally arrived at the holiday season now and it feels kind of surprising to me because where did the time go?
Depression. If I had to describe how the past four Christmases have felt I would say, “a detached, apathetic haze.” It’s hard to be excited about eating special food for Christmas or New Year’s when I feel like shit about my weight, and it’s equally hard to look forward to holiday parties when I know that interacting with people will leave me feeling drained.
Growing up. My feelings about various holidays or occasions have changed over time, which makes sense. But I can’t help feeling nostalgic for Decembers past, which usually leads to me feeling sad and depressed, which leads to me escaping back into the nostalgia as a way to feel less sad. Christmases seemed to be fewer and farther apart when I was little because I hadn’t experienced many of them and because waiting a whole year for the next Christmas seemed impossible in the eyes of a five-year-old: That was one-fifth of her entire life so far! Ever since I hit my late teens, it’s just been like… wait, is it really Christmas again? Again? But it was just Christmas not that long ago! Oh well, guess we’re doing this whole thing over again.
There are probably a few other reasons I feel this way, but I can’t think of any more right now – or adequately put them into words. I just know that I wish Christmas made me feel like it used to.
I wish that this whole season made me feel like it used to, actually, not just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The days leading up to it, and the days between it and New Year’s, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I miss the time when all of my family’s holiday traditions felt happy and fun and absorbing, when it felt like there was a point to everything and I wasn’t just going through the motions.
This year has been particularly weird in that department, though. Am I theoretically looking forward to Christmas? Heck yes. Do I actually feel excited about this season, deep down inside me? Um. No. Not really. I don’t know. Maybe a little bit. Not as much as I should, or as I want to.
I’ve been doing my best, though, and did actually start to feel a tiny bit festive today! My mom and I made cookies and I listened to some of my favorite holiday music: Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas album and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. I cut out more than twenty paper snowflakes the other day and I’m planning to make some more. I’m going to send cards to a few friends: I had the brilliant idea to find some holiday-related literary quotes and write them inside! I hope to watch some Christmas movies (Carol! How The Grinch Stole Christmas!) and maybe even read something festive as well.
I enjoy all of those activities for what they are – an amusement, a distraction from everything else that’s going on in my life or in the world. I love the Nutcracker because it’s gorgeous. I love reading things such as “A Christmas Carol” because the story is so well crafted. They just don’t make me feel very festive, but hopefully they will soon. I know a lot of Christmas cheer is manufactured and commercialized, but I used to adore this season as a little girl and even last year I felt more excited for it than I do now. So here’s to hoping that I feel that Christmas spirit soon.